Jun 24, 2021 4:57 PM
Stork Dusk gets et
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He positions himself right in front of her, facing her, his face a few feet away from hers. He asks her a question. It's just one word, not mumbled, with only one voice in the background to interfere.

...But it still isn't a word in any language she speaks.

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...yeah.

She repeats it back - it takes a few tries for her to get both reasonable pronunciation and reasonable volume - and then signs, a sentence or so's worth. The crow translates, still incomprehensible.

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He shakes his head. He sits and gets comfortable, giving up on being particularly lipreadable. He frowns but it's the frown of someone who can't figure out an intriguing puzzle.

He points straight up. He wipes sweat off his forehead and exaggerates how hot he is. He raises his eyebrows and looks at her.

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Okay. She gives him the sign for 'sun'.

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"Sun," he says. He holds up an open hand and points to the thumb. Then he points to the index and middle fingers, briefly, then settles on the ring finger. He taps that an extra time and then points to the world map.

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Four? Map? She'll give him the words for those things - and the numbers through five, while she's at it - but it's pretty clear that she doesn't know what he's getting at.

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He points up. "Sun." He points to the ground. "Map." He points to Dosk, questioning.

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Golems orient themselves with the sun, sometimes; if golems can do it, humans must be able to, too. She can't, though; it's a lot of complicated math that she's still working up to, and she hasn't bothered picking up the technique without the math to use it. She shrugs.

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Sigh. He doesn't want to let go of the puzzle but there's not much he can learn with no language in common.

He says something to Vaayo.

Vaayo waves a little and turns so he's more visible, then signs. "Give Dosk food. Dosk," he mimes sleeping, then points to one of the beds. "Dosk make scooter, give me scooter?"

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She shakes her head and gestures for them to wait, then retrieves a piece of cardboard from her pack and takes it to the doorway.

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They wait. Both of them seem curious. Gari goes back to his necklace, but most of his attention is still on Dosk.

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She stands there for a few minutes, and when she returns, the cardboard has several small glowing dots on it, as if it was lit by sunlight streaming through holes in something overhead.

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Well that's amazing. Vaayo applauds.

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She taps the side of the cardboard, and declares it to be a scooter. Then she signs "person make artifact," and touches it, and the dots move, each in turn. Then "not person make artifact," and this time when she touches it, the dots stay still.

She's not done, but looks to Vaayo to check that he's following so far.

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He's... sort of following? He's not totally sure which of a few possible meanings she's trying to convey. He waits for her to elaborate.

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Next she gets out one of the mice, and holds the cardboard still while the mouse scratches symbols into it. When the mouse is done, she taps the cardboard again, using a new word to describe it, and then touches it to guide a dot over the symbols; this time, when she takes her finger away, the dot keeps moving.

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He has one guess he's more sure of now.

"Two artifact," he guesses. "One, make. One, make make make make make." He's not sure how exactly to ask "is that right?" but maybe she'll answer anyway.

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"Mmhmm," she nods. "One make, not person not make artifact. One make make make make make, all," she gestures around the room, "person. Animal artifact, make make make, all person."

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He... sort of follows. He checks that he understands again. "Make scooter, scooter. Not make scooter, not scooter. Make automaton," he uses the word she used for the lights that kept moving, "automaton. Not make automaton, automaton."

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"Mmhmm. Dosk not give scooter you. Dosk give automaton you, Dosk give animal you."

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He's so very impressed that Dosk can do all this, nobody in Yuya or the north has known how for centuries.

"Automaton," he says, then he thinks about how to explain. He picks up his empty water cup moves it a couple feet away, mimes dipping it in something, moves it back and sets it back down where it was.

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Hm.

"Work," she tries. "Person make food, work. Person make automaton, work. Scooter," she mimes going along a trail, "work. Automaton work."

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"Work. Dosk work make automaton. Person," he gestures vaguely at their surroundings, trying to indicate the entire village, "work make food." He points at the woman with the small children, "work," he mimes holding a baby. "Automaton work..." well, no use trying exactly the thing he tried before. He points in a direction. A little ways in that direction he mimes water flowing and flowing and flowing. There's a river that way, very far that way. He picks up the cup, moves it to where he keeps miming flowing water with his other hand, pretends to dip the cup in, brings it back, sets it down.

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Ohhhh.

She nods emphatically. "Automaton work."

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